Last Week, Today: The Hug that Went Viral

1. The Hug that Went Viral

Brett Smith, a student at the University of Georgia, drove to a Kasich event in Clemson, S.C., and went up to the microphone to tell everyone why he was supporting John Kasich. 

“Over a year ago, a man who was like my second dad, he killed himself,” he said. “And then a few months later, my parents got a divorce, and then a few months later, my dad lost his job. And I was in a really dark place for a long time. I was pretty depressed. But I found I hope. And I found it in the Lord, and in my friends, and now I’ve found it in my presidential candidate that I support. And I’d really appreciate one of those hugs you’ve been talking about.”

Watch what transpired here. For more information about Smith's story and why he is drawn to Kasich's message, read this.

2. Rubio pushed to the right on immigration
A troubling sign: Marco Rubio began his campaign with a moderate approach to immigration, but has begun to shift to the right, with his recent declaration that he would deport DREAMers -- people brought here illegally as children.

Yet there are moments in which Rubio shows a kind of humanity that transcends the party line, such as this recent clip in which he explains through personal stories how difficult it is to be a black person in America to a Republican crowd in South Carolina. 

3. Should Social Conservatives Support Trump?

Rod Dreher penned an article outlining a few reasons why a social conservative might support Donald Trump, the candidate most un-moored from the GOP party, since the Republican donor base has been signaling that religious liberty is not going to be a priority going forward. 

Matthew Schmitz wonders whether this pessimistic move is worth the risk. "Better dignity in defeat than a desperate gambling with the common good," he writes.  

4. What is the role of the president? 

Bernie Sanders's economic campaign proposals has received criticism from the wonkish arm of the Democrat Party for predicting impossible growth.

The criticism has prompted an important discussion. Steve Randy Waldman, a brilliant economic commentator, says it doesn't matter how realistic Sanders' plans are, for the details of execution are for the "wonks" who are "the help." The point of a democratic process is to elect not a "technocrat-in-chief," but someone whose values and priorities we agree with, and which can be later translated into policy. Ezra Klein, on the other hand, wonders whether we can trust whether Sanders will actually hire the right "help" given his current elision over the weaknesses of his plans. 

5. Father Mike: Chicago's Political Priest

David Axelrod, former Chief Strategist for Obama, said to Evan Osnos on Father Mike: “When Obama was running for the Senate, we polled a bunch of leaders in the black community to see who would be the most credible testimonials for radio ads. I was stunned to see that Mike Pfleger was the most popular figure in the African-American community.” 

Haki Madhubuti, a poet and book publisher on the South Side, said, “Mike Pfleger... is a man of moral authority, and he is my brother—in many cases, even more than some of the so-called Negroes out here who call me their brother. This is important, because the Catholic Church has basically lost its moral authority, really."

Thank you for reading!

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